Today’s Deep Space Extra

May 10th, 2017

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Despite indications of post habitability, evidence for life on Mars has proven elusive.

Space Science

The search for life on Mars is about to get weird

Scientific American (5/9): Scientists attending this year’s Astrobiology Science Conference in Arizona express an eagerness to grow more creative in their efforts to determine whether Mars once and perhaps still does harbor some form of life. Perhaps the evidence lurks below the surface.

Newly discovered house-sized asteroid 2017 HX4 flew safely past the Earth yesterday

Universe Today (5/9): Discovered April 26, Asteroid 2017 HX4 passed within four lunar distances from the Earth early Monday.

Cassini downlinks view of Titan’s methane clouds on third loop inside rings (5/9): The long-running Cassini mission spacecraft dove between Saturn’s cloud tops and the inner most of its ring system on Tuesday, transmitting spectacular new images of the wispy clouds hovering over the surface of the moon Titan.


Low Earth Orbit

U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame to induct 2 this month

Orlando Sentinel (5/9): NASA astronaut Ellen Ochoa and Mike Foale will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in ceremonies beginning May 19.  Ochoa, a veteran of five shuttle missions, now leads NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Foale, a British-born U.S. citizen and astrophysicist, launched six times aboard the shuttle. They will join 95 others inducted in the Hall previously.

JAXA begins testing engine for next-generation rocket

Nikkei, of Japan (5/9): The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has begun test firings of the primary engine for a new launch vehicle, the H-III. The new rocket, planned to enter service in 2020, is intended to strengthen Japan’s position in a global launch market dominated by the U.S., Europe and Russia.


Other Stories

Nick Mustachio: a teacher’s influence, a student’s inspiration

NASA (5/9): It’s no secret that teachers have a unique superpower, that special something that allows them to inspire and encourage the dreams of their students in ways almost no other person can. So in 1994 when Houston-area fourth-grader Nick Mustachio shared his aspirations of becoming an astronaut with his teacher, Katie Reagan, she listened.

Cold Surface, Hot Market: Commercial lunar gains traction (5/8): Coalition member Astrobotic in the spotlight!

As interest and investment in commercial space heats up, and as government agencies and commercial companies alike focus their attention beyond low-Earth orbit, competition between multiple private companies looking to provide access to the moon is creating a market for commercial lunar services.


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